Monogram design is my vision of making pictures with letters. They can be extraordinarily beautiful and ornate or spare and simplistic. This collection happens to be on the ornate side mostly. These are part of a larger scrapbook collection of 19th century French monograms, probably cut from personal engraved stationery and letterheads printed on papers the color of bird eggs. Many of them have lovely handwriting identifications on the reverse side which are helpful if I can read them, as some of the letters are difficult to decipher—especially the decorative scripts. Often times the designer (or printer in most cases) will mirror a letter in order to create symmetry and sometimes they would add a decorative border and even spell an entire name as you can see in the last example on the bottom right with the name Helene. All examples here are clickable.
:: From the Letterology Archives.